Atlanta Police Preparing for Beat Redesign

November 17, 2011 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

from Virgina Highland-Druid Hills Patch

Officers in the Atlanta Police Department have started to prepare for the beat redesign that is tentatively set for December.

No official date has been set for the restructuring of police beats city-wide, but zone two commander Robert Browning told residents Tuesday night that officers in zone two and zone six have started to discuss the plan to move the Morningside and Cheshire Bridge Road areas into the zone two boundaries.

Zone six officers currently patrol Morningside and Cheshire Bridge Road.

Browning said the department needs to hire more officers before the redesign can be completed, but in the meantime, officers have started to familiarize themselves with the new territory.

“I’m very familiar with that area,” Browning said Tuesday night at a public safety town hall meeting in Virginia-Highland. “I’m looking forward to getting back in there and dealing with some problems in that area.”

Morningside and Cheshire Bridge were part of zone two roughly 10 to 12 years ago, he said.

“As you know most criminals kind of have an area they like to hang out in,” Browning said. “Our officers are already talking to the zone six officers and familiarizing ourselves with some of the criminals in that area.”

The Atlanta police department began to discuss re-structuring the police beats last year and held several public hearings to give residents a chance to voice concerns and opinions. The decision to move certain areas into new zones was based on call volume and reported crimes in each area.

Zone two, the largest zone in the city, will take on three additional beats after the redesign — Morningside, Cheshire Bridge Road and part of Lenox and Phipps, which will be split into two beats.

“Because zone two is growing…to be able to staff it correctly, we have to have a certain number of officers assigned to the zone,” Browning said. “Right now, we are just a little bit short. We just haven’t had enough people graduate out of the academy.”

Atlanta police department spokesman Carlos Campos said Wednesday the department graduates officers from the academy monthly and the depertment hopes to have the redesign complete sometime in December.

“We are basically dotting some “i”s and crossing some “t”s,” Campos told Patch. “We have to make sure everything is a go, and we are in the process of doing that.”

He said the department will notify Atlanta residents when they are ready to roll out the beat redesign.

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